VALPARAISO | Liberty Township resident Jackie Robson was found guilty Wednesday night of a single count of child molesting, yet he dodged conviction on three higher levels molestation charges.
The jury was unable to agree on verdicts for two of the higher Class A felony counts and found him not guilty on a third, according to the court.
The 49-year-old faces two to eight years behind bars when sentenced Aug. 26 by Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.
Prosecutors will decide whether to take another shot at convicting Robson on the two counts that hung up the jury.
Defense attorney Peter Boyles said his client maintains his innocence and is disappointed with the conviction, but respects the jury's verdict.
Boyles said he will continue defending Robson's rights on appeal and if another trial is held.
Boyles had attempted to persuade jurors earlier in the day not to trust this week's testimony of three girls accusing Robson of molesting them.
"It's confusing," Boyles said during closing arguments in the trial. "Because it's inconsistent, it makes it even more confusing."
Jurors began deliberating shortly before noon.
The accusations involved the period of January 2008 to April 2012. Two of the girls were in fifth grade and the third was two years younger.
Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost attempted to counter the claims of inconsistency by telling jurors during his closing arguments the testimony was compelling and truthful.
"And it says Jackie Robson turned them into sexual play things," Frost said.
The girls said they were molested in a mobile home in Liberty Township.
Frost said they did not tell anyone right away because they were scared. One girl was afraid of losing her friendship with the others and the other two did not come forward until Robson was in jail.
"Children disclose it when they're ready to disclose it," Frost said.
Boyles repeated portions of the testimony, pointing out areas he felt were inconsistent.
He also told jurors there is no physical evidence and yet Robson was charged with the crimes.
"That's what you should be disgusted about," he said.
Robson, who exercised his right not to testify during this week's trial, was convicted in 2009 on a felony count of performance of a sex conduct in the presence of a minor.